Peroor Temple, near Coimbatore. Two carved pillars at entrance
Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David
Medium: Photographic print
Print from an album of 44 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. Perur, near the Noyyal river, is 7 kms from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. It is famed for its Pattiswaraswami temple where Shiva is worshipped. The temple is said to date
originally from the Chola period and is attributed to Karikala Chola (2nd century AD), but most of it was completed in later centuries. The pillars of the temple are fine examples of Dravidian architecture. A unique feature on the base of a pillar here is the carving of a sepoy or Indian soldier loading a musket. Lyon's 'Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Prepared to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' (Marion & Co., London, 1870), edited by James Fergusson, gives the following description: 'shows a view of the two Pillars immediately on the top of the steps leading to the temple... A man loading a musket will be observed, as the principal figure on the right-hand pillar, and his accoutrements, and the form of his firelock, and his dress, all prove him to be just such a Sepoy as fought against us, in our wars with the French in this country. As he is an integral part of the sculpture, it is quite clear that the temple cannot be earlier than the beginning of the last century'.